As the mum of a little boy with disabilities, Laura Moore knew only too well what a difference having a fully-accessible toilet in Worthing town centre could make. She used Crowdfunder to raise funds for this vital facility, and got local businesses on board to make her campaign a resounding success.
Laura raised an incredible £6,286, more than twice her original target. This will go towards building a Changing Places public toilet with a ceiling hoist, large changing bed and space for carers to help those that need to use it.
Worthing Borough Council had already agreed that the town needed this facility and had allocated space and the majority of the funding for it. Local charities such as Worthing, Littlehampton and District Scope had also contributed generously. But a shortfall still needed to be covered to get the project under way.
Laura was inspired to use Crowdfunder after seeing how successful two other local projects were on the platform. Tide of Light and Baked Worthing both did really well on Crowdfunder and Laura saw that it could be the ideal way to raise the last bit of funding.
Realising that rewards would be crucial to get people interested in pledging, she worked hard at getting the support of as many businesses as possible.
“I didn’t have any rewards to offer anybody,” she explains. “A toilet isn’t the most exciting thing for people to give money to. People are happy to give money to a charity but this isn’t a charity so people wanted something in return.”
When it came to convincing businesses to offer rewards, she used her experience working in sales to get them on board.
“I just contacted all my local businesses and tried to sell them the idea of sponsoring it. I didn’t focus on the project, more on the fact that they would be helping the local community and would be able to advertise through the campaign.”
Her approach worked and she was able to offer pledgers an array of tempting rewards, from businesses such as Unleashed dog day care and grooming, Richard John Beaty Salon and the local David Lloyd gym. Previous Crowdfunders Baked Worthing lent their support too, offering a reward of tea and cake for two.
A number of charities, including Independent Lives and The National Autistic Society, also provided match-funding for the project. Laura says most of them were charities she was in touch with already because they support her son but one, Baby Buddy, approached her after learning about her campaign on Facebook.
Having never crowdfunded before, Laura says she was amazed at how well her campaign did. With hindsight, she says would have spent more time before it went live preparing, finding rewards and raising interest. But with the money secured and work due to begin on the toilet in January 2015 she is thrilled at her first experience of crowdfunding.
“I would recommend it to anyone,” she says.
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